Innovation That Matters

Òtító allows users to search out the truth without political bias. | Photo source Pixabay

A platform aims to help users tackle misinformation

Computing & Tech

A crowdsourced website offers a library of factual claims to help users find and contribute evidence-based information


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 Spotted: In the age of the internet, misinformation is seemingly everywhere, and it is becoming increasingly complicated to determine what is truth and what is falsehood. Òtító is a new crowdsourced project which aims to paint the most representative picture of truth on any given issue by providing a library of factual claims that is continually updated to include the latest information backed by evidence.  

While there are already several sites that seek to combat misinformation, most of them rely on fact-checking, so by the time they tackle an issue, the misinformation is already out there, garnering believers. Rather than wait for the untruths to emerge, òtító uses a crowdsourcing model to create a library of factual claims, getting ahead of the problem. Every claim carries a designation that signals trustworthiness, from “most validated” to “less validated” and “unchallenged”.  

Users of òtító must provide at least one source of evidence to their claims, and those who contribute low quality or false information too often risk losing their ability to add content to the platform. On top of this, there are no moderators, so all users have access to the same features and publishing powers. Users can only interact with claims rather than directly with other users and since the publishers of claims remain anonymous, there is limited space for negative behaviours to manifest, such as trolling and targeted attacks.   

The founder of òtító, Timi Olotu, has experience as a political writer. He identified that online articles engendered tribal infighting and trolling between groups of readers, which often stemmed from the readers’ perception of the author as an individual rather than the ideas and evidence they present. Òtító aims to frame information as “one multifaceted and interrelated body of complex knowledge,” Olotu told Springwise. In doing so, the site encourages users to collaborate and create shared narratives of truth that are ideologically pluralistic, rather than tribalistic.  

Crowdsourcing has proven to be a useful tool for a variety of uses. These have included helping farmers to fight crop disease and to provide support for customer support workers. There have also been many initiatives to fight fake news, such as a group that tracks coronavirus conspiracies. Òtító combines the two to make it easier for people to learn for themselves.  

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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